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Key strategies for updating your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn screen on a tablet

LinkedIn is a valuable tool for finding your next career opportunity. You also can use it to build a professional network. And whether you’re confident about your current profile or know it could use a little brushing up, Megan Parker, senior associate director of coaching in UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA Career and Leadership team, outlines a few strategies that can enhance your profile as well as your job prospects.

Megan Parker

Parker led a workshop on polishing up your LinkedIn profile. Parker highlighted how to:

  •  Build an effective LinkedIn profile
  •  Use LinkedIn to connect for the benefit of career growth
  •  Understand how companies, recruiters and others are using the social platform to source talent.

The key to building an effective LinkedIn profile is to write or update your profile for the job that you want and not the one that you have, says Parker. The goal is to first make sure you match your profile to what recruiters are looking for and then you can focus on showcasing your unique background.

Crafting the right headline

The first step is drafting your headline. Instead of using your current position or job title, look at patterns in your career and pick out common threads as well things you do really well. Use what you do and how you do it to come up with keywords and strengths to use for your headline, Parker says.

Do you really need a summary?

The short answer is yes, and here’s why. Use your LinkedIn summary to speak to your target audience. Share your mission statement, aspirations and accomplishments, and convey your personality. Be sure to include keywords that could match you with corporate recruiters.

The key to writing a compelling summary is to write it in first person. Know your brand and articulate it in this prime piece of real estate on your profile. Consider a “call to action” at the end, too. Provide compelling reasons for employers to take a second look at the rest of your profile, says Parker. Don’t repeat your resume in your summary, which should be three to four sentences.

Using your profile for career growth

To use your profile to its full potential and help with career growth, share updates and content. These posts will allow you to brand yourself as a thought leader in your field. It will show others what you’re passionate about and build followership and credibility. The social platform also provides LinkedIn Learning for professional development.

Whether your profile needs updating or not, you can use these strategies to elevate your profile to the next level.

Editor’s note: Parker spoke at the 2019 Alumni Weekend.